Before I get into specifics topics about traditional food (to read a little more on upcoming topics, read my post, My Plans), I realized that I needed to share the philosophy behind it all. This post is not in the least exhaustive, but rather an introduction to why I eat and think like I do. Please feel free to ask clarifying questions, if needed, or share your own views.
Advice of Today
In the last few generations, we have seen many health experts turn us away from many of the traditional foods that our society has eaten, including butter, meat, raw milk and cheese, bones broths, tallow, and eggs- among other things. Instead we are encouraged to turn to a more vegan, low fat lifestyle, often complete with soy and rice milk, fake butters, tofu and soy burgers. Although these choices were supposed to reflect scientific evidence, we all know the shifting sands of scientific research!
And so, many of us have followed, turning away from traditional ingredients, recipes and food preparation, we have turned to new-fangled food that no one in history has consumed, in the belief that we have finally found true health food.
With that belief, there came a fear of real food. I remember distinctly the fear surrounding butter in my younger years. My mother, sister and I were completely horrified when my dad would put butter on his oatmeal. “You are going to give yourself a heart attack!” one of us would cry. I am just thankful that although we had a fear of consuming too much butter, my mother never used margarine.
And although this might not have been apparent at first (as it certainly never occurred to me in the past), I feel that there is a certain arrogance in rejecting our historical inheritance. It’s as if we look back on history and say, “We know better than you how to eat and live”.
With science currently tinkering with nature so much, such as with GMO’s, we turn our backs not only on our past, but we snub what we find here on earth and say, “We can improve what God and nature has produced”. Armed with our health experts, studies, and “advancements,”we turn from what kept our great, great grandparents healthy, and turn towards new developments convinced that we can improve on what history has given us.
Where I Stand
While I believe in making progress, I don’t believe that progress comes in the form of changing food’s natural state. Properly prepared whole grains, fresh vegetables, tree ripened fruit, grass fed meat, eggs from happy and healthy chickens, fish from clean water, and milk from pastured cows all goes back to it’s, healthy, natural form.
What about the Scientific Evidence?
But still, some of you might still be asking, “What about the studies? Didn’t they prove at least something?” The first thing I had to realize in my journey towards nourishing food, was that there is always another side of the story.
If all you listen to is mainstream medical media, you are getting only one piece of a very large picture. Traditional food being good for you actually has a lot of growing scientific support, it just might not be mainstream (I gather some people don’t want the good news to spread).
So, then, Do We all need to Drink Milk?
When we look at what people ate in the past, we find that there is definitely diversity. Some of us, with our genetic background, may find that we do better avoiding certain foods altogether. But we can look back at a multitude of cultures and find wonderful blueprints for our diets. That’s not to say that all were equally healthy. For example, Weston A Price, found that cultures who ate a lot of seafood were the very healthiest (with more meat based cultures in second place, and vegetarian based cultures placing third. He didn’t find a single vegan culture to study).
While I appreciate the great strides and progress we have made in recent years, I also think that we must not lose the good from past generations. Let’s remember that sometimes before we can go forward, we have to learn from the past.